Just for a bit of fun, here are a few facts about me that you probably don’t already know or don’t even want to! Well, you probably know a few but not all of them.
1. My third forename is Hunter, my mother’s maiden name.
2. I was the only one of my parent’s family to be born outside the English county of Sussex; I was born in what was then Kent. My birthplace is now in the London Borough of Bromley.
3. I am the youngest of three siblings. My sister is seven years older than me and lives in Devon, England. My brother, who was 11 years older than me, died in April 1990 at the age of 48.
4. My earliest childhood memory is of being wheeled in my pram and left outside while mum went into a shop. Not something recommended these days.
5. Although never sporting at school, I played both cricket and hockey (on grass, not ice) for local clubs.
6. I qualified as a football (soccer) referee while still at high school and immediately started refereeing matches between adult teams. Often I was the youngest person on the pitch.
7. I was once fired three weeks after I resigned! All a bit silly, I had already given four weeks’ notice but one week before my planned departure I was fired for refusing to work one evening because I was going to a formal dinner dance with the guy who would soon be my new boss. When he heard about it, he told me I could start my new job a week earlier than planned. Not bad – as my new job paid almost double the old one.
8. Corgis, to be exact Pembroke Welsh Corgis, played a major role in my formative years. Most Saturdays were spent at dog shows. My mum started breeding and showing corgis when I was six or seven and she later became an international judge. She also was a judge at Cruft’s.
9. Up to the age of 11, I attended a private fee-paying school but from then until I left, aged almost 18, I went to a regular state-funded high school.
10. Two bones in my right ankle were broken in an accident while riding my bicycle in 1968. Six weeks in plaster from toes to knee, walking with crutches. Still remember it. Another time, I broke a finger on my right hand playing the supposedly non-contact game of basketball in the school gym. I still recall being told to walk to the local hospital by myself.
11. I fell in love with politics at the age of 10 and at 14 joined the youth section of a political party even though its minimum age was 15. I didn’t lie, they just bent their own rules. In the years since I have voted for various parties as my views and circumstances have changed. Now that I live in Spain, I am allowed to vote in parliamentary elections in the UK and local elections in Spain.
12. Hobbies? Not really had the time for those although I have been involved in the running of various not-for-profit community and charitable organisations. These days, most of my ‘hobby time’ is dedicated to preparing and publishing this blog.
13. Although brought up and later confirmed as a member of the congregation of the Church of England, I have since changed my faith. While recognising that all faiths and deities are equally valid, I am now a Pagan and follow the Wiccan religion.
14. It is no secret that I have a disability caused by Multiple Sclerosis. This is one of a few illnesses and conditions that affect me but my life is full and enjoyable. Apart from difficulty with walking, standing and using my left side generally, I feel well and like to do everything that I can.
15. I follow the fortunes of quite a mixed bag of sports teams: Football (soccer) – Fulham and Spain; Rugby Union – Ospreys and Wales; Cricket – Sussex and England; Formula One – Anyone who can beat Mercedes; Baseball – NY Mets.
16. There are two distinct musical loves in my life: Country and the Sixties.
17. Holidays are rarely better than those taken aboard a cruise ship. You get to take part in shore excursions every time you dock and enjoy dining and entertainment on board. You visit different towns, even countries but only unpack once as the ship is a floating hotel – and much more.
18. Following 63 years of living in the UK, I have now moved to Spain with my adorable New York City-born wife, Lisa. We arrived in Spain on November 15, 2015, and now live in our own two-bedroomed single-storey property in a small community in an agricultural area with a real Spanish village nearby. The nearest town is Cuevas del Almanzora which is only about 10 minutes away by car, while the Mediterranean coast is a drive of about 15 minutes.